Nissan announces senior leadership changes for diversity and inclusion

  • Jeffrey Webster, director, Diversity and Inclusion, retiring after 34 years of service
  • Rodney Francis named director, Diversity and Talent Acquisition; Francis brings nearly 20 years of human resources experience

NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Following a distinguished career spanning 34 years, Nissan is announcing that Jeffrey Webster, director, Diversity and Inclusion, is retiring on Aug. 1. Succeeding Webster is Rodney Francis, currently human resources director, Nissan Canton (Mississippi) Vehicle Assembly Plant.

“Jeffrey has had a storied career focused on people, and he has built a reputation for his unwavering commitment to Nissan’s diversity initiatives,” said Michelle Baron, vice president, Human Resources, Nissan North America, Inc. “Among his many contributions, Jeffrey led the expansion of our employee affinity groups and has cultivated lasting relationships with key civic and business leaders and organizations.”

Webster joined Nissan in 1985 as a production technician at the company’s Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant. After moving into human resources in 1989, he served in various management positions of increasing responsibility within the function. After leading HR at Nissan Canton, he was named to his current role in 2014. During his tenure, Nissan has received numerous awards for its diversity efforts, including the company’s inclusion in DiversityInc’s “Top 25 Noteworthy Companies” list for six consecutive years.

In his new role, Francis will lead Nissan’s focus on strategic programs that support diversity and inclusion. He will also focus on recruiting, developing and retaining top talent in an increasingly dynamic and competitive environment.

“With Rodney’s strong business acumen and people-centric skills, he will further solidify Nissan’s commitment to diversity in every aspect of our business,” said Baron.

Francis joined Nissan in 2014 as senior manager, Human Resources, Nissan Canton, later being promoted to the director role. He brings nearly 20 years of human resources experience, having previously served in management roles at Faurecia and BorgWarner.

Francis holds a bachelor’s degree in science and master’s degree in business administration from Delta State University.

Francis will be based in Franklin, Tennessee.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and, or visit the U.S. media sites and

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Media Contact(s):

Lloryn Love-Carter
Nissan Manufacturing Communications
(615) 725-3061

Darla Turner
Nissan Multicultural Communications
(615) 719-1184

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

Rodney Francis Headshot Jeffrey Webster Headshot